Avril McMonagle – Meantóir
Avril McMonagle’s breast cancer diagnosis in 2017 was a lifechanging moment, forcing her to take stock of her life and career. She wanted her next step to be as innovative and creative as possible so did something she had long dreamed about — setting up her own business.
Catriona Callaghan – The Bunnery
When the Covid-19 pandemic hit in March 2020, cancelled parties and events meant future orders would be uncertain. Catriona had always wanted to share her knowledge and skills in baking and cooking through delivering courses, so the pandemic provided an opportunity for her to make that dream come true.
Clare O’Connor – Clare O’Connor Coaching
Originally from Bishopstown in Cork, Clare O Connor set up her coaching business in Navan, Co Meath, after a 15-year career as an engineer, which included a period of ten years sailing as an officer with the Merchant Navy, where she became Chief Engineer.
Denise Hofler – H&H Design & Detail
Denise Hofler was working behind the scenes on a new design company when Covid gave her the final push to launch. Her husband’s travel business was put on the back burner because of the pandemic so they joined forces to create H&H Design & Detail.
Gráinne Mullins – Grá Chocolates
To keep busy in the pandemic, Gráinne designed and created individual Easter eggs for her family and friends. The hand-painted, abstract designs were a hit on Instagram and it wasn’t long before people started enquiring where they could buy them.
Katie Brandon Byrne – Lil & Izzy
Katie Brandon Byrne, from Bray, Co Wicklow, stepped away from her career as a global buyer for Primark to launch Lil & Izzy, a sustainable, organic clothing brand for children and babies, in August 2019.
Kel Galavan – Mrs Smart Money
When Kel Galavan stepped back from her 16-year career in pharmaceuticals to spend more time with her children, she could never have imagined the path it would take her on.
Maureen McCowen – Soft Skill Success
Public speaking, whether it’s delivering a presentation or speaking up in a team meeting, can be more challenging than it looks, and Maureen McCowen’s business is all about empowering people to boost these skills.
Niamh Hogan – Agile Digital Strategy
Having carried a passion for technology and all things digital from an early age to university and throughout her career, Niamh Hogan is now leading her own business providing complete digital marketing services.
Olivia Norman – Naivilo
Nature loving scientist Olivia Norman always made her own facial oils to treat her skin conditions. But it was when she started making deodorant as a result of her underactive thyroid that a business idea was formed.
Polly Doyle – Polly and Andy
A simple comment from Polly Doyle’s four-year-old son broke her heart – and led her to set up her clothing company. Andy is autistic and wasn’t then able to communicate fully but, after pulling on new soft trousers, said: ‘these don’t hurt’.
Shannon Forrest – Rívesci
Being an entrepreneur is a passion for Shannon Forrest who opened a jewellery shop when she was just 25. She loves putting hard work into a concept and seeing a brand grow and develop.
Sharon Huggard – The Style Coach
As a young child, Sharon Huggard watched her mother transform into a Hollywood star when she got dressed up for dinner dances. The power of this instantaneous transformation through style stuck with her and is at the heart of her business mantra ‘Style…it’s a feeling’!